Recession is the source of financial desperation for all Greek labor, but it is particularly harsh for medical professionals who spend almost a decade studying, only to see their wages dropping below those of a public service employee.
When an opportunity for relocation arises, doctors of all specialties don’t think twice – even if their new job is on the other side of the world. Lately many Greek doctors are willing to shut down their private practice and move to Saudi Arabia.
Less than two months after a visit by representatives of the Saudi Health ministry to Greece, a medical casting of sorts is taking place in Athens for new and experienced Greek doctors who are willing to move to the Arabian peninsula.
From Thursday, Feb. 1 to Saturday Feb. 3, the heads of Mouwasat Medical Group, a private corporation with hospitals in five Saudi cities, including the capital Riyadh, are interviewing doctors of all specialties.
Salaries of €5,000 to €10,000 are the main attraction for 35-57 year old Greek doctors to staff a new hospital launched next summer in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi group also offers productivity bonuses, severance pay in case of termination, free dental care and a stay in fully furnished apartments close to the hospital unit, offering sports utilities and a swimming pool.
A total of 200 Greek doctors auditioned for the jobs last December in front of a Saudi Health ministry committee and about 70 of them have been chosen for an additional interview by the health group officials. About 20 of them will win the relocation ticket.
Saudi Arabia is interested in a variety of medical specialties including general physicians, dentists, microbiologists, gynecologists, bio-pathologists and psychiatrists. They are also in need of surgeons, neurosurgeons and plastic surgeons for both their public hospitals and their private clinics.